- Associated Press - Thursday, July 17, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama attorney has been selected to serve as president of an international organization for defense lawyers.

Tripp Haston of Birmingham, a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, was chosen to lead the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Founded nearly a century ago, the organization has members from five continents, 40 countries, all 50 U.S. states and all Canadian provinces.

While serving as president for the next year, Haston hopes to serve as an effective ambassador for his firm; for Birmingham, the city he has called home for two decades; and for the state of Alabama.

“I think it’s more than just my firm - it’s about Birmingham; it’s about Alabama,” Haston said. “To have someone from our state have the opportunity to travel (around the world) and carry with them their hometown, that’s a great opportunity for all of us to show the world that Birmingham is very much connected to the world and very much a part of it.”

Haston graduated from Auburn University in 1990 and went on to law school at the University of Alabama.

After working for a year with a federal judge in Mobile, he started a job at Bradley Arant in 1994 and has been in Birmingham ever since.

Haston, who has served on the association’s board of directors since 2010, is the co-chair for the Life Sciences Industry Team at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. He has handled legal matters throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

“We congratulate Tripp on this tremendous honor,” said Beau Grenier, chairman of the firm. “This is a prestigious and very visible position, and it reflects the significant respect that the international defense bar has for Tripp.”

The International Association of Defense Counsel is an invitation-only global legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests. It provides educational seminars and other services for member and clients, publishes a quarterly journal and other publications, and sponsors scholarships.

The group also promotes camaraderie among its members and their families, who also travel around the world for group events, Haston said.

“It’s a terrific organization for me to develop and grow my practice and have great contacts around the world,” he said. “But (members) join for professional reasons and they stay and become devoted to it for personal reasons.”

At the annual meeting each July, members bring spouses and children to meet people from around the world.

“The world is getting flatter and flatter when it comes to business, and to the legal world as well,” Haston said. “It’s been great for my children to really be exposed to the world well beyond the boundaries of the U.S.”

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